Love it or hate it unless you spend your life chasing the endless summer around the world winter training is something that we are now all facing. Race memories fading and new plans starting to form, “dreaming season” as some call it as the goals for next years racing season start to materialise.
“The Office” All set up for the colder months
For me I am always a bit excited at the start of winter training. Yeah if you’ve had a bit of a break then the first few sessions can feel pretty bloody awful but it’s always a clean slate. An extended period of time to really work on some specific aspects of your sport whether that’s technical or fitness based. No races to interrupt the flow and routine of training and as long as you can keep motivated a chance to really consistently get some work done. Also a chance to do something different. For me who spends most of the race season chasing long course triathlon my winter training will be focussed around being short course fast. Especially on the run which is my biggest weakness I just need to be faster full stop, whether that be over 400 metres, a mile, a 5km or further I need more speed in my running. My winter plans are to try and turbo charge the Diesel engine I have so next season I can kick up a gear when needed.
coffee shop Jenga is an important part of the winter routine.
The other side to winter for me and this is a big lesson from experience is trying to stay a little more balanced. During the race season I can be incredibly focussed and driven but I can’t sustain that year round. Whilst I commit to my training during the winter I try and maybe have an extra easier day a week or make sure I am doing less overall volume. When March and spring rolls around I don’t want to be knackered and ready for a break I want to be motivated and fresh and ready to really push into the race season. By making sure I don’t flatten myself during the next few months I am giving myself the best chance for this.
So below I have written down 5 things to think about or try this winter to help keep your motivation up and your fitness progressing.
- MIX IT UP – Whether that is trying training sessions you wouldn’t normally do in the summer or trying a new class at the gym. Do something different so training feels fresh and exciting.
- ENTER A RACE – A local 10km run or a Duathlon or maybe even a half marathon or obstacle or adventure race. Have a race on the horizon is always a great way to keep you going. It could even be get down to your local park run and see if you can beat that PB.
- TRAIN WITH A GROUP – This is a big one for me over winter. Whilst during summer I do 95% of my training alone during winter I use others more. Our Saturday morning run group is crucial to me. If it’s cold and raining outside I know they will be waiting for me or if I don’t want to get out of bed then I will be letting them down. Even during the session having someone to chase or push you on will mean you get much more out of it. Join a group whether a local Tri or running club or arrange sessions with friends to make you accountable to them and help get you out the door.
- FIX THAT NIGGLE – That niggling ITB or that aching Achilles that has bugged you all season long, ow is the time to get it fixed. See a physio, do some strength work and get it sorted. No more endurance athlete denial or brushing it under the carpet, get on top of it now and make sure it then doesn’t come back to haunt you again for the races next season.
- SET SOME GOALS – Now this could be a short term goal for yourself or it could be next years big ones. Set them, write them down and put them in public view or at least somewhere you see them regularly. I will cover goal setting more in another post soon but have something that really motivates you and maybe scares you a little bit. Tell someone what it is out loud and use it when things get tough.
Embrace the winter and it can have a massive effect on your season next year for the better, neglect your training now thinking that next years races are months away and you may be left if your competitors dust when the gun goes off again.
I will aiming to write much more regular blogs over the winter as well so if anyone has anything they would like me to write about drop me an email or get i touch through any of my social media, we also have a few spaces left for coaching for the winter and into next season so if anyone is interested there as well please get in touch!